The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has approved the appointment of Melika Bedri, an ex-chief financial officer at Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), as the first president of the pioneering fully-fledged, interest-free ZamZam Bank. Melika, who was relieved of duties at her previous employer in August, had been serving CBE for the past three decades in different positions. She has served as manager of promotion as well as in the treasury department and as assistant vice president for marketing & research. The only sitting female president in the banking sector, she will be the first to break the ice on interest-free banking services in Ethiopia. ZamZam Bank has received its operating license from the central bank and is expected to start operations within the next three months. The Bank, which was under formation for over a year, has managed to raise paid-up capital of over 870 million Br and 1.8 billion Br in subscribed capital from 11,200 shareholders. It reinstated the process of formation a decade later after a failed trial, following central bank approval of IFB operations beyond window service. Currently, more banks are in the making to serve wholly interest-free banking services, including Hijira, Zad, Kush and Huda Banks. Half of the commercial banks in the country provide interest-free window service.
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